I’ve currently hit that stage of my studies where I have to actually start thinking about my future, scary I know, but the dream of last minute cramming, goon bag savings and 4 holidays a year is coming to an end. Unfortunately that piece of paper that you spent what seemed a lifetime and not to mention a considerable chunk of your pay for the rest of your life, will not land you a job despite what the university advertised. There’s the next step, finding a job, or the scarier version, the Graduate application process.
This is a little different to normal job hunting. You can’t just print off a hundred resumes, walk around the shopping center and hand one out to every business you walk past. There’s so many more daunting processes like; the pressure filled interview, the ridiculously worded tests and don’t forgot to mention that you might have to travel fair distances for each of them.
After countless applications I feel that I should pass on some tips that I wish I had at the start to help me.
1. Know the company.
Research the company, know what identifies them from other companies. Social media is best as it is also their way to promote their products, services, current events and programs. Follow them on LinkedIn, or on Twitter, or at least on Facebook. This will also help you weed out companies that may not be best suited for you. Never apply without fully knowing the company.
2. Learn some Math
As I go through these applications and have made it to the next skill assessment round, in some form or another you will have to come across some math based questions. Two trains go from point “A” to point “B”, one going at one speed the other another, at what point do they clash or something. Sound familiar? It will also help with developing your problem solving skills even if they are not math related.
3. Investigate the hiring process.
Some new companies are now using external partners or software to do their screening process. I recently just had to do a video interview Always best to see if you can get an understanding of the application, which you might be able to practice on. Doesn’t hurt to leave a comment on one of their pages along the lines of “Hi, was really interested to know what type of hiring process your companies uses for graduate positions.” Be upfront, also shows initiative and your eagerness to be thorough.
4. Have prerecorded/rehearsed answers.
What skills are you going to bring to the organization, another familiar sounding question? You may not know the exact questions but you know they are along the lines of what skills you can offer, name a situation where you have dealt with a bad customer, and what interests you most about this company. My tip is to have a handful of single line sentences or keywords that you can adapt to any situation.
5. Look over your own history.
Know yourself, helping with the previous step the best way to answer the questions is to know yourself and your experiences. Practice retelling the situation, this time focusing more on how you helped the key issue. The whole application process is essentially a retell of your life.
6. Get your resume in order.
You may hear this a lot but the importance of this step cannot be overlooked. It’s always a good thing to do this after the previous step so that you have a great understanding of who you are what your history is. Visit a career service professional or some form of support to help verify that you are on the right, they get paid to do this for a reason, they can help. Finally don’t limit yourself to the paper. I am more of a “ let my work speak for itself type of person.” A little easier in the design field but there are always way.
7. Become accessible.
Finally, get yourself out there. Make information about you, your career history, skills and any experience accessible. There are so many ways to get your name out there. If you’re not using social media start to, it’s also a great way to gain information about your organization. Use social media, themed blog posting, and YouTube playlist highlighting all your experience, whatever it takes to stand out and keep your employer interested.
It is important to always stay competitive and open minded while looking for graduate positions. Without a doubt there is always going to be someone looking for the exact same job as you and remember “hard work, forever pays.“